Dated Look

Older woman with long hair
Photo: Kues/Shutterstock
Q: I am 57 and was told that I am dated because my hair is long (middle of my back above the bra strap). Friends say that I am dated. They say that women over the age of 40 should not have long hair, and that only women from the south have long hair.
Is this a true fashion statement? Was this made up by a man? I thought you should wear what you like. Hope you can help so we can stop having this talk at work.

A: It is NOT a true fashion statement. It is what we call a “faulty generalization” of the kind often used by individuals who want to give their personal opinion added weight. It’s the same type of situation as when people quote the amorphous “they”: "They say that if you wear a hat while your hair is wet you’ll get dandruff." This is also untrue.
The fact is, your hairstyle may BE dated, but it isn’t because the hair is long and you are past a certain age. Looks become “dated” when the current trends in style and fashion are no longer present in your hairstyle.
Perhaps your long hair is blunt cut and all one length. This is a classic look, and perfectly acceptable in any era, as long as it suits you. If it’s not suitable for you, then this could be the problem and your coworkers just lack the ability to articulate it.
It’s not possible for me to make an assessment of your look, simply because I have only the description of the length. However, IF and ONLY if you feel you might need a change in your look, talk to a stylist you trust about updating your look. If you want long hair, tell him/her. There are many long-haired looks that offer variety and incorporate modern styling elements.
Perhaps the simple addition of layers or bangs to the style you currently have will freshen up your look. Maybe all you need is the addition of a color gloss tint or clearcoat shine to give your hair vibrancy. There are many possibilities and options you can consider.
And by visiting a stylist you trust, you can feel sure that the stylist wants to help you look your best, not trying to make you go for a look you don’t necessarily want in the name of fashion trends.
The bottom line is this. You are RIGHT when you say that you should wear what you like. The fact is that you won’t FEEL attractive no matter how many people tell you your hair is beautiful if YOU don’t think it’s beautiful yourself.
Go home and look in the mirror. Ask yourself: “Do I look dated?” and “Does my hair make me look older?”
See also:
The long hair trap
Age appropriate hairstyles
Hairstyles to look younger
Should older women keep their hair short and out of their face?